Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Philippines

2021-05-01 12:35:45 GMT2021-05-01 20:35:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

MANILA, May 1 (Xinhua) -- An initial batch of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 arrived in the Philippines on Saturday.

Carlito Galvez, chief implementer of the country's fight against COVID-19, said the Philippines has secured 10 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russian vaccine maker.

The batch "will be used for a dry run in preparation for the arrival of the bulk shipments starting this month," Galvez said in a statement.

The Philippines now has three vaccines against the COVID-19 in its inventory -- the Sinovac CoronaVac from China and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

China was the first to deliver the CoronaVac vaccine on Feb.28, paving the way for the Philippines to kick off its vaccination drive on March 1.

The Philippines is ramping up the vaccination efforts as it continues to battle a surge of COVID-19 infections fuelled by more infectious variants and people's complacency to safety protocols. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity.

The Philippines has as of Saturday 1,046,653 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 17,354 deaths. Enditem